Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD ReviewWed, Mar 03, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Inside The 256GB SiliconEdge Blue
Since we have never seen what components are being used inside the SiliconEdge Blue series we opened up our 256GB drive to see what the
internals look like. Breaking the warranty sticker and opening up the drive will VOID your warranty, so don’t do this unless you don’t mind losing the warranty on an expensive SSD.
After removing the four small Philips head screws that hold down the SiliconEdge Blue cover we were able to lift off the cover and
see what powers this consumer level SSD.
Here is a closer look at the main component side of the PCB where you
can make out eight double stacked MLC NAND Flash memory chips, the WD labeled controller and a cache chip by ESMT. Western Digital doesn’t design controllers, so we’ll have to do some investigative work to see who makes this one. The PCB looks to be of Western Digital design and is code named Pearl Rev 2.
Flipping the PCB over we can take a look at the other side, which is
bare and has just eight more Samsung MLC NAND memory chips on it.
The controller being used on the WD SiliconEdge Blue series can be seen
above and as you can see it says Western Digital on it with VAIL 1.07, a date code of week 45 of 2009 and the number 571J09111, which is more than likely a batch number. After a little searching around we believe that this would be the recently released JMicron JMF612 controller. This second-generation controller from JMicron incorporates 128MB of DDR2 cache memory for stutter-free performance. The WD SiliconEdge Blue series SSD delivers speeds of up to 250MB/s read and 170MB/s write with this controller. This is also the same controller used in the Kingston SSDNow V Series Gen 2 drives and the upcoming Corsair Reactor series of SSDs.
Sitting next to the controller on the left hand side is a
single 128MB Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology (ESMT) M14D5121632A-2.5 DDR II 400MHz SDRAM module that is used for cache,
which helps improve the drive’s performance.
The WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD features Samsung K9MDG08U5M MLC flash memory.
In total there are 16 double stacked chips and each IC is 16GB in density. That adds up to 256GB of storage space, but only 238GB of it will be usable space!
One interesting thing that we noticed about the WD SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD is that even with all the screws removed from the housing the PCB wouldn’t come out. The ‘threads’ for the cover plate are actually touching the PCB and locking it into place. We have to pry open the case in order for the PCB to come out. Not sure if this impacts the drive’s G Force rating as if the housing takes a side impact that creates a dent the PCB would likely crack since it’s already pinched.